Archive for January, 2008

Biblical Church, Holiness Happens, et. al.

January 3, 2008

Here we are entering into another New Year and, if nothing else, the search for an Biblical Church has reached it’s conclusion. That Church, is the one which meets in your (my) house, is led by Elders who have been raised up in and are accountable to each other and that Church; which celebrates the Lord’s table as a full meal; the Church where in no one leads from the front; it is, in fact, the church that operates more like a family than it does an organization led by “our Leader”. It’s the Church which holds to the Tradition passed on to the Corinthians: “Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.” (I Corinthians 11:2); and the Thessalonians: “Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.” (2 Thess 2:15); “Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.” (2 Thess 3:6). The words “ordinances” and “traditions” are both translations of the Greek word παραδόσεις (paradosis), which basically means “a handing down”. So, most all of the nonsense and the division we see in the post-modern church comes, not from Holy Spirit led interpretation of the Scriptures, but from interpreting the Scriptures through the cloudy lens of the distorted teachings of the early Church Fathers (where this idea of church as an organization came from.) It has hung on for as long as it has because sinful flesh loves its traditions more than it loves God’s truth.

Above, I mentioned holiness. “Holiness Happens” would make for a good Tee-shirt slogan, I believe. “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” (Phil. 2:13) That describes holiness and how it “happens”. It’s a sign that one is really saved. I John is loaded with similar signs. It’s because we don’t get saved by praying a superstitious prayer once, then going out and living like the devil. These tests are to help us know weather we have eternal life or not. Even Paul encourages self-examination of our position: “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” (II Cor. 13:5) That is something we all need to do, but especially the youth who profess Christ. Some of you are hanging by a horse’s hair above the flames. You’re trying to walk the walk, but every step comes hard. You look like the world; you talk like the world; you dress like the world; you engage in the activities of the world; you listen to the music of the world. Face it, God hasn’t changed you: you’ve been trying to change yourself (assuming that you’ve been trying at all).

Well, I do carry on at times; Don’t I? It comes from frustration with something that is pretending to be the supernatural work of God. The “church” in this country is an embarrassment, and it’s a colossal failure, from a spiritual standpoint. Most don’t notice it because they define success and failure with carnal gauges and, more importantly, they never read their Bibles. These “professors” defer to “experts” and have not the wisdom to recognize when their favorite expert has gone completely off the rails. They just follow blindly along, acting as though nothing whatsoever is wrong. If you’re meeting in an converted football stadium or your leader has sold multiple-millions of his books, then God must be blessing you, right? NO!! God is not blessing that which distracts from His glory! When a professing Christian laments over how they cannot stomach reading and/or listening to the Word of God for more than 15-20 minutes a day, what good is that profession? Either you love God or you don’t.

Would you show your deep love and devotion towards your wife by keeping her locked away in a closet all but a quarter-hour each day? Of course not. (If you would, then you need to be locked up.) It’s a contemptible thought. Don’t you see, we show the same contempt towards God when we limit His influence upon our lives to a time of daily “devotions” and an hour on Sunday.

Little children, I honestly believe that the Dispensation of Grace has nearly exhausted itself. Once it’s over, and the Body of Christ has been taken from this earth, a Dispensation of Judgement will begin — the Day of the Lord — and then it will be too late for those who have heard, understood and rejected the Gospel of God, for there is a terrible, everlasting judgment awaiting them. A judgement from which there will be no appeal.

Don’t be one of them. Seek the Lord now, while you still can!